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Home > The prevalence of recreational drug use, smoking and alcohol consumption in a low-risk Irish primigravid population.

Donnelly, Jennifer C and Cooley, Sharon and Walsh, Thomas and Geary, Michael and Sarkar, Rupak and Gillan, John and McMahon, Corina (2004) The prevalence of recreational drug use, smoking and alcohol consumption in a low-risk Irish primigravid population. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 191, (6, Supp.), p. 124. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajog.2004.10.333.


To evaluate the prevalence of recreational drug use, smoking and alcohol consumption in a low-risk Irish primigravid population.

 

Study design

Eight hundred and ninety-four apparently low-risk women were questioned in detail in a confidential, private setting at their booking visit (<20 weeks) about current and previous smoking, drug and alcohol use. The inclusion criteria were Caucasian women with a singleton pregnancy, 16 to 40 years old, with no chonic medical conditions and no current drug therapy. Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS for Windows, version 11.

 

Results

Of the 894 women questioned, 186 (21%) had used recreational drugs prior to their first pregnancy. Of these 171 (92%) had experimented with marijuana. 102 (55%) had solely used marijuana, 5 women (3%) had solely used ecstasy and 3 women had solely used cocaine. Ten women (6%) admitted to use of at least one drug in the first trimester prior to a positive pregnancy test. Less than half of the women (380) had never smoked (43%), 257 (29%) were ex-smokers and 254 (28%) were currently smokers. Of the current smokers, 78 women (31%) admitted to smoking less than 5 cigarettes per day and 169 (67%) smoked more than 10 cigarettes per day. Of these women, 37 (22%) smoked more than 20 per day and 3 (1.7%) women smoked 30 cigarettes or more per day. Four hundred and eighty-eight women (56%) continued to consume alcohol during the course of their pregnancy. Ten women (2%) drink more than 10 units of alcohol per week and 445 (91%) drink 5 units or less.

 

Conclusion

These figures are similar to national Irish data in the non-pregnant population and suggest a worrying lack of knowledge of the potential harm associated with these risk behaviours during pregnancy.

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